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Equitable and Sustainable Children’s Oral Health Services in the Carolinas

Dec 14, 2021

While the United States has seen improvements in children’s oral health in recent years, almost half of children continue to experience dental cavities, which are associated with disruption in learning and increased risk for a lifetime of systemic inflammatory health conditions. Notable inequities persist among school-aged Latino and African American children. Effective school-based oral health services can be targeted to high-need populations, and philanthropy can support the policy development and technical assistance needed to establish more equitable and sustainable care.

A robust conversation was held about an exciting effort to expand oral health services to rural and underserved communities in North and South Carolina, through a school-based model supported by three foundations and their state partners. Speakers included Hannah Benson of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation, Katie Eyes of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, Amy Martin of the Medical University of South Carolina School of Dental Medicine, and Stacy Warren of The Duke Endowment.